These Drag Artists Are Making Science More Accessible

On the latest episode of ‘Universe of Art,’ learn about drag performers who’re using social media to bring science communication to a wider audience.

four images of drag performers. from left to right, an
From left to right, Shrouk El-Attar (aka Dancing Queer), Scary (aka Dean Adze), Kyne, and Pattie Gonia.

Listen to Universe of Art on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcherTuneIn or your favorite podcasting app. You can read this episode’s transcript here.

Each generation has science communicators who brought a sometimes stuffy, siloed subject into homes, inspiring minds young and old. Scientists like Don Herbert, Carl Sagan, and Bill Nye are classic examples. But our modern age of social media has brought more diverse communicators into the forefront of science communication, including the wild, wonderful world of STEM drag stars.

These are queer folk who mix the flashy fashions of the drag world with science education. Some, like Kyne, use TikTok as a medium to teach concepts like math. Others, like Pattie Gonia, use drag to attract more people to the great outdoors. The accessibility of the internet has made these personalities available to a wide audience.

Kyne and Pattie Gonia join Science Friday host Ira Flatow to talk about the magic drag can bring to science education, and why they think the future of SciComm looks more diverse than the past.

Plus, Universe of Art host D Peterschmidt interviews the original producers of this segment, Kathleen Davis and Community Manager Kyle Marian Viterbo, about why they wanted to feature these artists and the surprising connection they share with the mission of public radio. And SciFri Experiences Manager Diana Plasker tells us how you can attend a SciFri Book Club event in Chicago on April 27, where author Dan Egan will talk about his new book The Devil’s Element: Phosphorus And A World Out Of Balance.

Universe of Art is hosted and produced by D Peterschmidt, who also wrote the theme music. Charles Bergquist and John Dankosky provided production assistance. The original segment was produced by Kathleen Davis and Kyle Marian Viterbo, and hosted by Ira Flatow. Our show art was illustrated by Abelle Hayford. Support for Science Friday’s science and arts coverage comes from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. 

Meet the Writer

About D. Peterschmidt

D. Peterschmidt is a producer, host of the podcast Universe of Art, and composes music for Science Friday’s podcasts. Their D&D character is a clumsy bard named Chip Chap Chopman.

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